10 Must-See Spots Around Lake Superior in 2024

Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, offers some of the most breathtaking views and unique experiences in North America. When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Lake Superior. We spent the summer exploring the landscapes, marveling at waterfalls, and learning about the area’s rich history.

Those memories have stayed with me, and going back as an adult has made me love this place even more. Here are 10 places you absolutely must see around Lake Superior in 2024.

1. Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

If you’re ever in Michigan, you have to check out the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. It’s one of those places that you just can’t miss. They offer a guided tour of the Whitefish Point Light Tower, which has been around since the Civil War. Climbing those 56 steps to the top is a bit of a workout, but the view of Lake Superior is totally worth it.

The museum itself is packed with cool artifacts from famous shipwrecks, including stuff from the Edmund Fitzgerald. The exhibits are a bit spooky but fascinating—they really show what it was like for the folks who sailed the Great Lakes and faced all kinds of dangers.

The guides there know their stuff and have some amazing stories to share, full of both heroism and heartbreak. It’s a great spot to take the family, learn a ton about maritime history, and have a bit of an adventure while you’re at it. Trust me, you’ll love it!

2. Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan is a nature lover’s paradise. Imagine 81 square miles of beautiful woodland, all waiting to be explored. The star of the show here is the Tahquamenon River, which boasts the stunning Upper and Lower Falls.

The Upper Falls are seriously impressive, dropping nearly 50 feet, and they’re among the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. If you love hiking, this park is a dream come true.

There are plenty of trails to wander, each offering its own unique slice of nature. Wildlife enthusiasts will be in heaven, with chances to spot deer and a variety of bird species. After a long day of adventure, you can kick back at the park’s restaurant and brewery.

There’s even a gift shop to browse for souvenirs. The peaceful vibes and natural beauty make Tahquamenon Falls State Park the perfect spot for a relaxing escape.

3. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Between Munising and Grand Marais in Michigan, you’ll find the stunning Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, stretching 40 miles (ca. 64 km) along Lake Superior. The colorful sandstone cliffs and unique natural formations are absolutely breathtaking. If you love photography, these mineral-stained cliffs are a dream come true.

The shoreline also has sandy beaches and pristine forests, giving you plenty of landscapes to explore. There are tons of hiking trails and camping spots, perfect for fully immersing yourself in nature. Kayaking along the cliffs offers a unique perspective and lets you truly appreciate their grandeur.

Each season brings something special, from the vibrant fall colors to the peaceful winter ice formations. It’s a place that you’ll want to visit again and again.

4. Presque Isle Park

Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan, is one of those hidden gems you just have to visit. This beautiful peninsula is packed with diverse plant species, pebble beaches, and lush forests. It’s perfect for a relaxing picnic or just taking in the scenery. The Upper Harbor Lighthouse adds a cool historical touch to the already stunning views.

You can drive or bike around the park’s loop road, which is super chill. They also host all sorts of events and festivals throughout the year, so there’s always something going on. It’s a great spot to unwind and enjoy nature, with plenty of cozy spots to kick back and soak in the beauty.

5. Copper Falls State Park

If you’re near the Lake Superior Circle Tour, you’ve got to check out Copper Falls State Park. This place is amazing with its canyons, streams, and gorgeous waterfalls. It’s got trails that are open all year round for hiking, and camping, and you can even take a dip in the summer.

The terrain is pretty rugged, so it’s great for anyone who loves outdoor adventures and wants to explore the Lake Superior area. In the winter, you can have a blast cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

The waterfalls, Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls, are absolutely stunning. Whether you’re looking for some excitement or just want to chill out in nature, this park’s got you covered.

6. Ashland Murals

Ashland, Wisconsin, totally blew me away with its vibrant murals. Strolling through the town felt like wandering in an open-air art gallery. These murals bring the town’s history and culture to life, adding so much color and energy to the streets. Each one tells a story—everything from the logging industry to the rich Native American heritage of the area.

I hopped on a guided trolley tour to get the scoop on these amazing artworks. The tour guides were awesome, sharing cool stories about the town’s past. It was such a fun way to spend the day, soaking in local art and learning about the community’s rich history.

7. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Nestled in Wisconsin, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a hidden gem with 12 miles (ca. 19 km) of stunning mainland shoreline and several picturesque islands. This place is a haven for adventure lovers. You can go boating, camping, hiking, or just soak in the sights.

Exploring the islands by cruise or water taxi is a blast—each island has its own charm and beauty. If you love the water and a good adventure, you’ll feel right at home here.

8. Wisconsin Point Lighthouse

Built in 1913, the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse sits on a serene 10-mile sandbar between Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. This spot is a paradise for sightseeing and photography.

The views are nothing short of spectacular. As a photography enthusiast, I found it absolutely perfect. The tranquility here is just what you need to relax and soak in the beauty of Lake Superior. It’s one of those places where you can just breathe and appreciate nature.

9. Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is a must-see in Duluth, Minnesota. This 386-foot engineering marvel, which raises to 180 feet, is something to behold. Watching ships pass under the bridge is an experience you won’t forget. The area around the bridge is buzzing with life—restaurants, brewpubs, and art galleries are all within walking distance.

Dining at a nearby restaurant while watching the ships was a highlight of my trip. The vibrant atmosphere, combined with history and culture, makes it a fantastic place to visit.

10. Great Lakes Aquarium

The Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth offers hands-on exhibits and interactive zones that are perfect for families. The aquarium focuses on the ecology of Lake Superior and features live animal displays. It’s an educational and fun place to learn about the lake’s environment and its inhabitants.

Kids will love the touch tanks and interactive exhibits that make learning fun. The aquarium also hosts special programs and events that delve deeper into environmental topics. It’s a wonderful place to inspire curiosity and a love for nature in visitors of all ages.

In summary

Revisiting Lake Superior as an adult has only deepened my love for this incredible region. Each visit brings new discoveries and a greater appreciation for its natural and cultural treasures. Plan your trip to these must-see spots around Lake Superior in 2024 and create your own lasting memories in this remarkable part of the world.